2018 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team Announced
The 2018 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team has been finalized and features 12 of the nation’s top athletes age 18 and under who will represent the USA at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men June 10-16 in St. Catharines, Canada.
The 12-member roster includes: Cole Anthony (Archbishop Molloy H.S./Briarwood, N.Y.); Armando Bacot (Trinity Episcopal School/Richmond, Va.); Ayo Dosunmu (Morgan Park H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Quentin Grimes (College Park H.S./The Woodlands, Texas); Kamaka Hepa (Jefferson H.S./Barrow, Alaska); Matthew Hurt (John Marshall H.S./Rochester, Minn.); Trayce Jackson-Davis (Center Grove H.S./Greenwood, Ind.); Josiah James (Porter-Gaud School/Charleston, S.C.); Tyrese Maxey (South Garland H.S./Dallas, Texas); Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Bishop Miege H.S./Shawnee Mission, Kan.); Mark Watts Jr. (Old Redford Academy/Detroit, Mich.); and Coby White (Greenfield H.S./Goldsboro, N.C.).
The team will continue training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, until June 7, when it departs for the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in St. Catharines, Canada. The team was selected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee.
“It was tough getting it to 12,” said Bill Self, USA U18 and University of Kansas head coach. “It was tough getting it from 33 to 18, but even with the 18 we’ve had a couple of extra days with and know how committed they all are to trying to make the team, knowing that different guys look better on different days and in different situations, it was tough getting to 12 because there are a lot of interchangeable parts.
"I think the committee made some good selections, and I’m excited about working with this group. One of the things I think they bring to the table is versatility. They’re very interchangeable. I can see us playing four little guards around a big. I could see us playing two bigs, two little guards and a three. I think this team has some different things they’ll be able to do, depending on how we stack up against our opponents. The other thing, and this goes for all 18 guys, the appearance is that they really like each other. The appearance is that they’ll be a fun group to spend two weeks with, which obviously is very important to teams being successful, of guys understanding that some days it might not be their day, it might be somebody else’s day.”
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) June 5, 2018
Grimes is the only team member who previously has played for a USA Basketball national team – having suited up for the USA in the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit.
Anthony, Bacot, Hurt, Jackson-Davis, James, Maxey and Watts were members of the 2018 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that took part in the NCAA Next Generation Sunday at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
Dosumnu, Hepa, Robinson-Earl and White were named to the 2018 USA Men’s U18 National Team after taking part in their first USA Basketball training camp.
Training camp tipped-off on May 30 with 33 athletes, and 18 finalists were named on June 3 after five training sessions. The 18 finalists had an additional five practices together prior to the team announcement.
The USA Men’s U18 National Team, in the hunt for a fifth-straight gold medal, will compete in Group A and open preliminary round play against Dominican Republic on June 10 (6 p.m. EDT), followed by a June 11 (8:15 p.m. EDT) clash against Panama and tip-off against Puerto Rico on June 12 (6 p.m. EDT).
Group B features Argentina, host Canada, Chile and Ecuador.
Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded within each group, and all eight teams advance to the June 14 quarterfinal games. The semifinals will be played June 15, and the finals on June 16. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.
Self is being assisted by Anthony Grant (Dayton) and Danny Manning (Wake Forest).
Purdue University head coach Matt Painter serves as chair of the USA Junior National Team Committee, which includes two-time USA Basketball medalist and 2007-08 USA Men’s Senior National Team member Shane Battier as the athlete representative; and NCAA representatives Tony Bennett (University of Virginia), Ed Cooley (Providence College) and Sean Miller (University of Arizona).
Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000).
FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament was held every four years between 1990-2006. FIBA changed its calendar following the 2006 championship, and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer, for nations that advance, by the FIBA U19 World Cup.
USA men’s teams are 53-2 in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships and won gold in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, while capturing silver in 2008 and bronze in 2002.
Some of the most notable USA U18 alumni include: Carmelo Anthony (2002), Chris Bosh (2002), Markelle Fultz (2016), Quade Green (2016), Grant Hill (1990), Allan Houston (1990), Andre Iguodala (2002), Kyrie Irving (2010), Stephon Marbury (1994), Michael Porter Jr. (2016), Austin Rivers (2010), Kyle Singler (2006), Marcus Smart (2012), Deron Williams (2002) and Justise Winslow (2014).